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Speech and Hearing Mechanism Vocabulary List COMM 3400 Auburn University Montgomery Summer 2013


the branch of medical science that studies the causes and nature and effects of diseases


a group of symptoms or signs that collectively characterize or indicate a disease, disorder, abnormality, etc.


study of the cause of disease


the study of the form and structure of plants and animals; in linguistics, the study of word formations


1) the occurrence as a minor concomitant; 2) in physics, falling upon or striking; 3) when pertaining to light and sound, directly from the source


the number of cases of a specific disease present in a given population at a certain time


The act or process of identifying or determining the nature and cause of a disease or injury through evaluation of patient history, examination, and review of laboratory data.


a forecast of the probable course and outcome of a disorder or disease


the possible peril related to a particular condition or treatment. The risk may come directly from the condition itself or indirectly from the process or method involved in the treatment application.


deficiency of blood in a part or organ, usually due to functional constriction or actual obstruction of a blood vessel

Embryonic period

the stage embryonic development (between 3 and 7 weeks), during which differentiation of organs and organ systems occurs.


1) in connection with another word, it means "body"; 2) The human body, consisting of the head, neck, trunk, and limbs.; 3) The main part of a bodily structure or organ.


a permanent abnormal passageway between two organs in the body or between an organ and the exterior of the body; most common in the digestive tract


congenital absence of one or both ears

Apert syndrome

A rare, autosomally dominant congenital syndrome. It is nearly always caused by a mutation in the parent in the gene for the receptor for a signaling protein (FGF2). Symptoms are disjunct, affecting different areas of the body:
--underdevelopment of the mid-face
--loss of hearing
--synostosis of calvarium, but enlarged fontanelle
--polydactyly (more than 5 digits) and syndactyly (fused digits)


underdevelopment of an organ because of a decrease in the number of cells


congenital enlargement of the auricle of the external ear, particularly the pinna.


the term used for a drooping upper eyelid; also called blepharoptosis, can affect one or both eyes


the fusing of digits, birth defect in which there is partial or total webbing connecting two or more fingers or toes


Of short and sharp course; Illnesses that are acute appear quickly and can be serious or life-threatening. The illness ends and the patient usually recovers fully; (of a disease or disease symptoms) beginning abruptly with marked intensity or sharpness, then subsiding after a relatively short period


congenital absence or closure of a normal body opening or tubular structure (such as the anus, vagina or external ear canal)


Of no danger to health, especially relating to a tumorous growth; not malignant, not recurrent, favorable for recovery


Of long duration and slow progression. Illnesses that are chronic develop slowly over time, and do not end. Symptoms may be continual or intermittent, but the patient usually has the condition for life


1. Existing at or before birth usually through heredity, as a disorder.
2. Acquired at birth or during uterine development, usually as a result of environmental influences.


an abnormal closed epithelium-lined cavity in the body, containing liquid or semisolid material


1. not definitely limited or localized to one tissue or location, widespread
2. to pass through or to spread widely through a tissue or substance


a condition of abnormally large fluid volume in the circulatory system or in tissues between the body's cells (interstitial spaces); swelling from excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue


a benign bony growth projecting outward from a bone surface


a fluid with a high content of protein and cellular debris which has escaped from blood vessels and has been deposited in tissues or on tissue surfaces, usually as a result of inflammation.


any cleft or groove, normal or otherwise, especially a deep fold in the cerebral cortex involving its entire thickness.


a localized collection of extravasated blood, usually clotted, in an organ, space, or tissue; A localized swelling filled with blood resulting from a break in a blood vessel


An increase in the quantity of blood flow to a body part; engorgement.; an excess of blood in part of the body, caused by increased blood flow, as in the inflammatory response, local relaxation of arterioles, or obstruction of the outflow of blood from an area. Skin overlying a hyperemic area usually becomes reddened and warm


the cutting of or into body tissues or organs (especially by a surgeon as part of an operation)


1. The inner open space or cavity of a tubular organ, as of a blood vessel.
2. The unit of luminous flux in the International System of Units, equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions.


A clear, watery, sometimes faintly yellowish fluid derived from body tissues that contains white blood cells and circulates throughout the lymphatic system, returning to the venous bloodstream through the thoracic duct. Lymph acts to remove bacteria and certain proteins from the tissues, transport fat from the small intestine, and supply mature lymphocytes to the blood.


1. tending to become worse and end in death; virulent
2. having the properties of anaplasia, invasiveness, and metastasis; said of tumors.
3. Tending to metastasize; cancerous.


aplasia or hypoplasia of the auricle or pinna of the ear, with a closed or missing external auditory meatus


the morphological changes indicative of cell death caused by progressive enzymatic degradation; it may affect groups of cells or part of a structure or an organ.

Otitis externa

an infection of the ear canal, the tube leading from the outside opening of the ear in towards the ear drum

Otitis media

an infection of the middle ear space, behind the eardrum (tympanic membrane). It is characterized by pain, dizziness, and partial loss of hearing.


1. Occurring or appearing again or repeatedly.
2. Turning in a reverse direction. Used of blood vessels and nerves.


1. the cellular process of elaborating and releasing a specific product; this activity may range from separating a specific substance of the blood to the elaboration of a new chemical substance.
2. material that is secreted.

Squamous cell carcinoma

1. an initially local carcinoma developed from squamous epithelium and characterized by cuboid cells and keratinization.
2. the form occurring in the skin, usually originating in sun-damaged areas or preexisting lesions.
3. a form of bronchogenic carcinoma, usually in middle-aged smokers, generally forming polypoid or sessile masses obstructing the bronchial airways


stricture; an abnormal narrowing or contraction of a duct or canal.


stenosis; an abnormal narrowing or contraction of a duct or canal.


1. A serious bodily injury or shock, as from violence or an accident.
2. A severely disturbing experience that leads to lasting psychological or emotional impairment.


decrease in the caliber of blood vessels


an enclosed collection of liquefied tissue, known as pus, somewhere in the body. It is the result of the body's defensive reaction to foreign material.
2 types: septic and sterile:: septic abscess (due to infection); sterile abscess (a milder form of the same process caused not by germs but by nonliving irritants such as drugs)


Of long duration and slow progression. Illnesses that are chronic develop slowly over time, and do not end. Symptoms may be continual or intermittent, but the patient usually has the condition for life


fusion or blending of separate parts


the development of morbid conditions or of disease; more specifically the cellular events and reactions and other pathologic mechanisms occurring in the development of disease


Containing, discharging, or causing the production of pus


A generally viscous, yellowish-white inflammation product, protein-rich fluid formed in infected tissue, consisting of white blood cells, leukocytes, cellular debris, a thin fluid (liquor puris) and necrotic tissue.


a trauma-induced change in mental status, with confusion and amnesia, and with or without a brief loss of consciousness

Diabetes mellitus

a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin or cells stop responding to the insulin that is produced, so that glucose in the blood cannot be absorbed into the cells of the body. Symptoms include frequent urination, lethargy, excessive thirst, and hunger. The treatment includes changes in diet, oral medications, and in some cases, daily injections of insulin.


increased formation and secretion of urine


literally translated as low blood sugar; occurs when blood sugar (or blood glucose) concentrations fall below a level necessary to properly support the body's need for energy and stability throughout its cells


underactive thyroid, develops when the thyroid gland fails to produce or secrete as much thyroxine (T4) as the body needs. Because T4 regulates such essential functions as heart rate, digestion, physical growth, and mental development, an insufficient supply of this hormone can slow life-sustaining processes, damage organs and tissues in every part of the body, and lead to life-threatening complications.


an infection of the spaces within the mastoid bone. It is almost always associated with otitis media, an infection of the middle ear. In the most serious cases, the bone itself becomes infected.

Meniere disease

an affection characterized clinically by vertigo, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, and fluctuating and progressive sensory hearing loss associated with endolymphatic hydrops


damage to the hearing or balance functions of the ear by drugs or chemicals


progressive, bilaterally symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss occurring with age

Rh Factor

the presence, or lack, of antigens on the surface of red blood cells (erythrocytes) that may cause a reaction (due to incompatibility) between the blood of the mother and fetus, resulting in infant blood disorders


a highly contagious viral disease, spread through contact with discharges from the nose and throat of an infected person; causes only mild symptoms of low fever, swollen glands, joint pain, and a fine red rash in most children and adults; can have severe complications for women in their first trimester of pregnancy such as severe birth defects or death of the fetus.


refers to levels of cholesterol in the blood that are higher than normal

Paget disease

a generalized skeletal disease, frequently familial, of older people in which bone resorption and formation are both increased, leading to thickening and softening of bones (for example, the skull), and bending of weight-bearing bones; Synonym(s): osteitis deformans


a condition characterized by an absence of oxygen supply to an organ or a tissue


a group of diseases characterized by thickening and loss of elasticity of the arterial walls


hearing ringing, buzzing, or other sounds without an external cause. Patients may experience this in one or both ears or in the head.


applied psychophysiological feedback, is a patient-guided treatment that teaches an individual to control muscle tension, pain, body temperature, brain waves, and other bodily functions and processes through relaxation, visualization, and other cognitive control techniques; refers to the biological signals that are fed back, or returned, to the patient in order for the patient to develop techniques of manipulating them.


a surgical procedure that destroys nerves in the sympathetic nervous system. The procedure is done to increase blood flow and decrease long-term pain in certain diseases that cause narrowed blood vessels. It can also be used to decrease excessive sweating. This surgical procedure cuts or destroys the sympathetic ganglia, collections of nerve cell bodies in clusters along the thoracic or lumbar spinal cord.


a sensation of faintness and whirling or an inability to maintain normal balance in a standing or seated position, sometimes associated with giddiness, mental confusion, nausea, and weakness. Sometimes the room seems to spin, sometimes the individual (a sensation known as vertigo)


Rhythmic, oscillating motions of the eyes which is generally involuntary


a sensation of instability, giddiness, loss of equilibrium, or rotation, caused by a disturbance in the semicircular canal of the inner ear or the vestibular nuclei of the brainstem.

Cerebrovascular accident (CVA)

a stroke; an abnormal condition of the brain characterized by occlusion by an embolus, thrombus, or cerebrovascular hemorrhage or vasospasm, resulting in ischemia of the brain tissues normally perfused by the damaged vessels. The sequelae of a cerebrovascular insult depend on the location and extent of ischemia. Paralysis, weakness, sensory change, speech defect, aphasia, or death may occur


an inflammation of the brain, usually caused by a direct viral infection or a hyper-sensitivity reaction to a virus or foreign protein. brain inflammation caused by a bacterial infection is sometimes called cerebritis. When both the brain and spinal cord are involved, the disorder is called encephalomyelitis


any of a group of syndromes characterized by paroxysmal transient disturbances of brain function that may be manifested as episodic impairment or loss of consciousness, abnormal motor phenomena, psychic or sensory disturbances, or perturbation of the autonomic nervous system; symptoms are due to disturbance of the electrical activity of the brain
Any of various neurological disorders characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of motor, sensory, or psychic malfunction with or without loss of consciousness or convulsive seizures


a serious inflammation of the meninges, the thin, membranous covering of the brain and the spinal cord; most commonly caused by infection (by bacteria, viruses, or fungi), although it can also be caused by bleeding into the meninges, cancer, diseases of the immune system, and an inflammatory response to certain types of chemotherapy or other chemical agents

Multiple sclerosis

a chronic autoimmune disorder affecting movement, ensation, and bodily functions. It is caused by destruction of the myelin insulation covering nerve fibers (neurons) in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)

Schwannomas (acoustic)

A tumor derived from the cells of the myelin sheath that surrounds many nerve cells


an infectious systemic disease that may be either congenital or acquired through sexual contact or contaminated needles


1. pathological changes caused by lack of oxygen in respired air, resulting in hypoxia and hypercapnia
2. A condition in which an extreme decrease in the amount of oxygen in the body accompanied by an increase of carbon dioxide leads to loss of consciousness or death.


1. abnormality of development.
2. in pathology, alteration in size, shape, and organization of adult cells

Cerebral palsy

the term used for a group of nonprogressive disorders of movement and posture caused by abnormal development of, or damage to, motor control centers of the brain; is caused by events before, during, or after birth.


A condition where there is a high level of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a natural by-product of the breakdown of red blood cells, however, a high level of bilirubin may indicate a problem with the liver.


an abnormal expansion of cavities (ventricles) within the brain that is caused by the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid


reduction of oxygen supply to a tissue below physiological levels despite adequate perfusion of the tissue by blood


an acute and highly contagious viral disease marked by distinct red spots followed by a rash, which causes an illness displaying a characteristic skin rash known as an exanthem; also sometimes called rubeola


a relatively mild short-term viral infection of the salivary glands that usually occurs during childhood; is typically characterized by a painful swelling of both cheek areas, although the person could have swelling on one side or no perceivable swelling at all


The length of a normal pregnancy or gestation is considered to be 40 weeks (280 days) from the date of conception. Infants born before 37 weeks gestation are considered premature and may be at risk for complications.


Chickenpox; a disease caused by the Varicella zoster virus—human herpes virus 3—that can cause severe birth defects if transmitted to the fetus during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and newborn complications if it is transmitted perinatally.

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